Severino, Bernardo help Filipino chessers salvage draw vs Israelis

Severino, Bernardo help Filipino chessers salvage draw vs Israelis

Joey Villar (Philstar.com) - November 25, 2020 - 2:41pm

MANILA, Philippines – FIDE Master Sander Severino and Darry Bernardo eked out victories out of impossible positions as Philippines 1 escaped with a 2-2 draw against Israel to cling to its quarterfinal hopes after the fourth round of the 1st FIDE Online Chess Olympiad for People with Disabilities Tuesday night.

Severino, the reigning world champion for players with physical disability, clawed his way back from a losing position in outlasting Grandmaster Yaacob Zilberman on top board while Bernardo found a way to turn a drawish ending into a win over International Master Arkady Shevelev on board four to save the day for the Filipinos.

The Israelis took an early 2-0 lead after Cheyzer Crystal Mendoza blew her winning chances and succumbed to Aleksandra Aleksandrova on board four and Henry Lopez lost his way in a rook-and-bishop endgame and fell to former world champion IM Andrei Gurbanov on board two.

Thanks to their heroics, the Filipinos held on to a nine-team tie at seventh with six match points and in the hunt for one of the four berths in the next phase.

It was battling top seed Poland 1 at press time with Jasper expected to play for the first time in place of Lopez at board two.

Philippines 2, for its part, likewise ended up with a draw with Brazil, 2-2, and remained outside the top 20.

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